From Treating Patients to Becoming One
Your early 20s can be exciting as you experience life as a young adult. New careers. New responsibilities. For Thérèse Humphrey that period is characterized by pain. “It was the summer of 1986 and I was very active and healthy,” recalls Humphrey. “But, in just a week or two I experienced symptoms of joint pain that came on so quickly I could barely get out of bed, and then came the swelling.”
Humphrey, a registered nurse, sought a rheumatologist and learned she had rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic immune-mediated inflammatory disease that causes pain, swelling and stiffness of the joints.1 Rheumatoid arthritis, or RA, affects an estimated 23.7 million people around the world, but when Humphrey was diagnosed there was no internet to connect her to other patients or help her understand what she can do to manage this chronic condition.2
“It was hard for others to understand what I was feeling. I was tired and I was in pain. I’m not lazy but these symptoms did affect my ability to work,” Humphrey says.